Hyderabad pharma firm gets UK award

Hyderabad: A private company involved in developing drugs and diagnostics to detect and treat multi-drug resistant infections, has received a Discovery award given by the Longitude Prize Committee, UK.

Vitas Pharma is incubated in the Technology Business Incubator, University of Hyderabad (UoH) and IKP Knowledge Park, the varsity said in a release here.

The awards ceremony was held at the Royal Society, London on November 21, it said.

Discovery Awards have been given to 12 teams from the US, UK and India selected from more than 70 applications received from 19 countries.

The company has prototyped a molecular test that detects the presence of bacteria with high specificity and sensitivity.

This low cost, 45-minute assay is easy to perform and amplifies bacterial sequences without the need for expensive equipment.

“It is envisioned that the kit will ultimately consist of 3 tests per sample and will flag the presence of bacteria in 30 minutes. Unlike other currently available tests, this assay combines speed and accuracy with low cost,” the release said.

The Discovery Awards are seed grants for teams to develop their ideas for diagnostic for bacterial infections.

The Longitude is a 10 million prize instituted by the British Government to reward a team or individual that develops a test that is cost-effective, accurate, rapid and easy-to-use and allows health professionals worldwide to administer the right antibiotics at the right time, the UoH release added.